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Pete Carroll: Seahawks need to run the ball more in 2021

Pete Carroll would like Russell Wilson to cook less in 2021.

The Seattle Seahawks coach told reporters Monday that his team needs to run the ball more in the coming year.

"We have to run the ball better. Not even run the ball better, run it more," Carroll said, via Gregg Bell of The News Tribune.

The 69-year-old coach is self-aware how that sentiment will play with much of his fan base, who staunchly advocated Wilson be given greater reign this season.

"I know fans don't want to hear it," Carroll said.

Wilson started the season off like a hot executive chef, cooking defenses and powering the Seahawks to a 5-0 start as he divebombed opponents with explosive plays. In the Seahawks' first eight games, Wilson went over the 300-yard passing mark five times and was among the leaders in the MVP conversation.

He ended the season closer to a short-order cook. Defenses adjusted, Wilson started turning the ball over, and the explosive plays were slowed.

Carroll specifically mentioned running the ball more in 2021 would help force defenses out of schemes that prevented Wilson's deep passes.

"Frankly, I'd like to not play against two-deep looks all season long," he said.

With defenses taking away Wilson's shots, the Seahawks offense stumbled down the stretch. In the final four games, including Saturday's playoff loss to L.A., the QB didn't complete more than 67 percent of his passes in any tilt, had fewer than 200 yards passing in three of the four, and was below a 100 passer rating in each game.

Carroll's answer to the dilemma is running the ball more in 2021.

When asked if offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would be back next year, Carroll confirmed he would and added that "it's disrespectful" to address whether coordinators are returning.

Carroll credited Schottenheimer for helping adjust the offense late in the year to help prevent turnovers.

Most of those points, however, came early in the season when Wilson was slinging the pigskin around the park.

Saturday's offensive struggles in bowing out of the playoffs against the best defense in the NFL took the spotlight off the issues Carroll's defense encountered much of the season -- including not being able to stop an injured QB with a postseason game on the line.

In order to avoid another early postseason exit next year, there is a lot Carroll & Co. must clean up on both sides of the ball heading into 2021.

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